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Taskforce To Release Study On Wyoming's Missing And Murdered Native People

Not Our Native Daughters

Last year, at a UW campus march for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Not Our Native Daughters Director Lynette Greybull pressed Gov. Mark Gordon to start a task force to study the problem. He agreed on the spot and since then the taskforce has been working to meet several goals.

One is to collect data on the problem. The taskforce is set to release a study early next year conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center detailing how significant the issue is here. Greybull said she always brings a family member to each task force meeting.

"The families who still have to live through this pain and the struggle and lack of justice and lack of closure and live through life day-to-day without their daughter or their son, these are the stories that need to be on the forefront," Greybull said.

The taskforce is also working with Northern Arapaho Business Councilor Jordan Dresser on a documentary called "Who She Is" interviewing families and telling the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous people from Wyoming.

"One of the things that's highlighted in this report is the lack of media attention," Greybull said. "So stories like what Jordan Dresser is doing, a documentary, and just all these media outlets to tell our story, this helps us."

Wyoming Victims Services Director Cara Chambers chairs the taskforce and said the documentary lets families tell their story of loss.

"You're never going to see what you're not looking for," Chambers said. "In my experience with with human trafficking and this issue, there's a lot of that, 'Well, that's a big city problem, or that's a bigger reservation issue and that doesn't happen here.' And the reality is, it does."

The study conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center will be released early next year.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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